The Geneseo Campus Activities Board debuted “A Different Point of View” in the Kinetic Gallery on Tuesday Nov. 15, located in the MacVittie College Union. “A Different Point of View” gives photographers with developmental and physical disabilities a chance to exhibit their work, portraying their unique artistic perspective. Upon entering the gallery, visitors are treated to an appealing, yet modest setup. Each of the nine photographers have four photographs on display, while their portraits—photographed by local photographer Larry Tetamore—are arranged on the right wall. Almost every photograph is a snapshot of the Geneseo campus.
Some of the photos on display include “Solitary Windmill”—which was taken below the dome in front of the Integrated Science Center—and “Worms”—which was a black and white shot of the bike racks near Bailey. The exhibit not only displays the campus through a different perspective, but it also gives the photographers an opportunity to show off their talent.
Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Habilitation Coodinator Mary Coniglio was inspired to create the exhibit about two years ago when photographer Courtney Bent came to speak at the college. Bent discussed her program and documentary, Shooting Beauty, which involved her discovering great artistic talent in a center for people with disabilities.
Inspired by Bent’s spirit, Coniglio talked with the photographer and they were able to bring a similar program to the Geneseo students who partake in the L.I.V.E.S program, which provides students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities an opportunity to learn independence, vocational and functional education skills within an educational community.
The featured photographers gathered on campus this past June with Coniglio, Tetamore and the Geneseo Central School photography class in order to put their artistic talent into action. Tetamore noticed that a lot of the photographers enjoyed taking linear photos, so he thought the architecture of the college would be a fitting subject to photograph.
One photographer, 35-year-old Virginia Eley, hails from Warsaw. Eley is involved in the L.I.V.E.S. program, enjoys photography in her downtime and appreciated this opportunity to showcase her talent.
“[My favorite part] is that people can see [these] pictures,” she said. “I’ve never actually been able to share my pictures before … and it’s nice to have other people tell me what they think of the pictures.”
Eley’s work features a variety of locations around campus, but one of her personal favorites is a shot of the Chowhound food truck on the college green, which was taken from the ground.
“I basically went for what I thought looked cool,” Eley said. “I really like the one with the Chowhound because I just saw it and I thought it looked really cool from the ground.”
Coniglio enjoyed the opportunity almost as much as the photographers themselves, reveling in the fact that parents and students will be able to see and admire the work.
“[The most rewarding part] is to see the photographers get to stand up and show off their work because, for most of them, they have not had that opportunity to show them off before,” Coniglio said.
Arts and Exhibits GCAB Coordinator sophomore Emma Belson played a vital role in helping these photographers display their work. After coordinating with Coniglio in early September to schedule the exhibit, Belson organized the opening event for the photographers, their families and their peers. The exhibit will remain on display in the Kinetic Gallery until Dec. 10.
“A Different Point of View” is a wonderful opportunity for unrecognized and innovative talent to finally come to light here at Geneseo. The remarkable skills exhibited by these photographers are distinct and give the campus a crisp, refreshing new attitude.